For the past three decades, the Malvern Family Resource Centre (MFRC) has operated from nearly 21 locations in northeast Scarborough.
Sometime this summer, the non-profit community organization will move into a new 1,848 square metre two-storey facility at Sewells and Littles Rds., thus enabling the organization to consolidate its five current locations under one roof to meet the growing and changing family needs in the neighbourhood.
Outfitted with an indoor gymnasium that can be converted into a space for social functions, multi-purpose rooms, counselling and administrative offices and a computer lab, the centre will offer programs geared to early-aged children, women and seniors.
“This is a major boost and we are very excited,” said the centre’s chair Dr. Sheridan Cyrus who operates a dental clinic in the Malvern community. “The organization has outgrown the spaces it now occupies.”
Long-time executive director Girmalla Persaud has led the charge for a new building.
“We started in a church basement before moving into a trailer,” said Persaud who has been in that role for the last 28 years. “When we kept running out space, we decided we had to secure a larger space to meet the needs of the community.”
The province contributed $800,000 for the construction under the Open Ontario Plan to stimulate economic growth, help vulnerable citizens in the province and build strong communities.
“This new facility will be a welcoming place for children, youth and families and it will ensure that residents in this community can easily access the services they need well into the future,” said Member of Provincial Parliament Bas Balkissoon who was instrumental in the centre acquiring the land.”
The centre, which has 65 staff members – about 30 of them full-time – has an annual budget of $2 million. The majority of the funding comes from the Ministry of Children & Youth Services and United Way of Greater Toronto.
Last year, the MFRC serviced close to 150,000 clients.
“That was the most that we have served,” said Persaud who migrated from Guyana 42 years ago and was a YWCA program consultant before joining the MFRC. “The numbers keep increasing annually which means there is a great need for the services that we offer.”